The Best Travel Shoes for Women Who Need Arch Support
Whatever your travel preferences are, anyone will tell you that a comfortable pair of shoes is the first thing you need to pack. It’s easy to forget that our regular pair of sandals or flats is not necessarily the best choice when you’re heading for a week of city hopping in Europe or hiking in Hawaii. And when it comes to choosing a proper pair of footwear for your vacation, arch support is essential.
“As we walk on hard surfaces the repetitive stress causes micro tears in the ligaments that hold our joints in place. Over time, our joints might slip out of position and we have what is commonly known as a fallen arch,” explained Dr. Taryn Rose, founder and strategic advisor of her eponymous footwear company. “The micro tears happen over years, so people don’t feel any symptoms. Women often say ‘my feet grew as I got older’ and it is due to the arches of the foot flattening out over the years.”
That issue, also known as overpronation or flat feet, can lead to inflammation such as plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and heel spurs, according to Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM. A supported arch will help to align the foot, resulting in better posture, pain- and stress-free movement, and, in general, fewer podiatrist visits down the line.
Or as Dr. Rose put it: “We have cars now with assisted driving but the vast majority of people still wear the shoe equivalent of the [Ford] Model T.”
So, if you are serious about your health, it’s time to update your closet with footwear that features built-in arch support. Trust us, your feet will thank you for it. Here, we rounded up 12 pairs that are not just comfortable but look cute, too.
Dr. Scholls Madison Sneaker
These cool black-and-white slip-on sneakers feature removable memory foam insoles that deliver all-day support. You could style them with a pair of jeans or a dress — they are as versatile as shoes can be.
To buy: zappos.com, $50
Vionic Country Logan Ankle Boots
These vintage-inspired ankle boots with adjustable side buckles will add a touch of boho chic to your ensemble while keeping your feet well-ventilated and comfortable thanks to a breathable, microfiber-lined footbed.
To buy: vionicshoes.com, $110 (originally $160)
Aetrex Christine Slip-on
A scalloped topline and slight rubber wedge add some feminine style to these comfy slip-ons that will save your feet on your next vacation.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $110
Cole Haan Generation Zerogrand Oxfords
The latest version of this lightweight and breathable shoe has an Oxford-inspired design and the features of a pair of comfy sneakers — an anatomically cushioned footbed and arch support that increases stability.
To buy: colehaan.com, $120
Naot Verbena Sandals
Naot’s insoles are engineered — using natural rubber and cork — to replicate the shape of the foot, while offering great arch support and shock absorption.
To buy: zappos.com, $170
Beek Swallow Sandal
The founders at Beek set out to develop a sole with built-in arch support that doesn't look bulky. Plus, with every shoe purchased, Beek will also donate a meal to a child in need through various charity partners.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $280
L’Amour Des Pieds Brenn Ankle Strap Sandal
The philosophy behind this brand is to create shoes that are contoured to your feet as opposed to having a static flat fit. This strapped wedge is the epitome of comfy and stylish with sleek cutouts and a well-padded footbed.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $200
Ecco Soft 7 Mid Top
This mid-top sneaker cuts a sleek, no-fuss silhouette and comes with removable insoles with arch support.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $170
Mephisto Pattie Sandal
This sandal’s contoured and cushioned sole prevents rubbing and adds support where you need it most. Plus, the shoe is the perfect accent for all your favorite travel attire.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $295
Hush Puppies Aidi Moc Toe Loafers
Loafers are a weekend staple and Hush Puppies has created a style that not only pleases the eye but is also extremely comfortable. It features an EVA- and memory foam–cushioned footbed with arch support and a flexible sole.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $80
Adidas Edge Lux 3
These lightweight sneakers are just as reliable for outdoor adventures as they are for indoor exploration. You’ll be able to go the distance in these because they were designed with the specific shape of a woman’s foot in mind.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $85
Naturalizer Marianne Slip-on Sneaker
Naturalizer’s "Marianne" slip-on style has a cushioned footbed with arch support and comes in many eye-catching color combinations, as well as in several width options.
To buy: zappos.com, $70